Thanks for posting this, Carolyn. I’ve wondered about the health/performance effects of oral bc since I was in my 20’s…now that I’m 49 that brain space is being occupied by wondering about the health/performance effects of HRT. I’m glad people are finally starting to look at this and do some research!
Maya and I hope everyone had a great first week, or if you needed to push things out a week that you have a great upcoming week of training. We’re going to be sprinkling in extra info for you all to read/research comment on and add to over the next 12 weeks to create conversation and your increase knowledge base of women’s training issues as much as we can. We encourage you all to do the same!
Kelly McNulty is doing great work on the topic currently. Unfortunately, as this paper concludes, since this topic has been ignored for so long, there isn’t sufficient research compiled yet, so there are not agreed upon recommendations:
She also has an Instagram and podcast called “The Period of the Period” educating on the topic of female reproductive physiology in sport.
One thing to look out for is that if you are on an oral contraceptive and do not have a period, should you develop overtraining syndrome or REDS (relative energy deficiency in sport), you won’t get the first tell tale sign of losing your period. Mina Leslie-Wujastyk is a pro climber who is speaking out about this issue:
Dr. Stacy Sims, the top expert on female physiology in sport, recommends against oral contraceptives, saying they are risky and may inhibit performance, but again, there is not sufficient research at this time to give proper guidance. Let’s look forward to that changing!
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